GECCO 2021 Industrial Challenge: Call for Participation

Optimization of a simulation model for a capacity and resource planning task for hospitals under special consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic

GECCO 2021 Logo GECCO 2021 Logo (Bild:

July 10-14, online
Sponsored by ACM SIGEVO
Largest Conference in the Field of Genetic and Evolutionary Computation

Simulation models are valuable tools for resource usage estimation and capacity planning. The simulator, BaBSim.Hospital, explicitly covers difficulties for hospitals caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The simulator can handle many aspects of resource planning in hospitals, such as ICU beds, ventilators or personal, while taking into consideration several cohorts as age or current health status.

The task represents an instance of an expensive, high-dimensional computer simulation-based optimization problem. The simulations will be executed through an interface and hosted on one of our servers (similar to our last year's challenge).

Your goal is to find an optimal parameter configuration for the BaBSim.Hospital simulator with a very limited budget of objective function evaluations. The participants will be free to apply one or multiple optimization algorithms of their choice.

Like last year, we are able to provide the opportunity for all participants to submit 2-page algorithm descriptions for the GECCO Companion. Thus, it is now possible to create publications in a similar procedure to the Late-Breaking Abstracts (LBAs) directly through competition participation!

Highlights of the GECCO 2021 Industrial Challenge include:

  • Interesting Problem Domain: The impact of COVID-19 on the health system is ongoing and tools to help in capacity planning are more important than ever.
  • Real-world Problems: Test your algorithms and methods, directly on real and current data.
  • Easy Access: Easily Participate through our online platform, no installations required.
  • Fair Submission Assessment: Winners are determined automatically through our online portal, fully objectively, only based on the final result quality.
  • Publication Possibilities: We are able to accept 2-page submissions for the GECCO Companion; thus, publications are possible directly through competition participation.
  • Price money: The top three candidates of the limited track will be honoured with price money. The best solution will receive 300€, the second place 200€ and the third place 100€.

About the Optimization Problem
The BaBSim.Hospital simulates the typical course of treatment of COVID 19 patients on the basis of user set scenarios, such as a specific reproduction number. With these scenarios "BaBSim.Hospital" can calculate the demand for hospital beds. The transition probabilities between hospital stations and the lengths of stay of Covid-19 patients required for the simulation were statistically validated by medical professionals and using about half a million data. This allows BaBSim.Hospital to be a useful tool for depiction and evaluation of different pandemic development scenarios.


Important Dates and Contacts

  • Software and Data Availability: Online on mid-February 2021
  • 2-Page Algorithm Description Submission Deadline: 2021-04-12 23:59
  • Final Submission Deadline without Publication Possibility: 2021-07-01 23:59
  • Organizers: F. Rehbach, M. Rebolledo,S. Chandrasekaran, T. Bartz-Beielstein (TH Köln)
  • Contact:

GECCO is sponsored by the Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group for Genetic and Evolutionary Computation (ACM SIGEVO).